Angiogenic properties of Kaposi's sarcoma-derived cells after long-term culture in vitro

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Science  21 Oct 1988:
Vol. 242, Issue 4877, pp. 430-433
DOI: 10.1126/science.2459779


Cells derived from lung biopsies and pleural effusions from AIDS patients with Kaposi's sarcoma (KS) of the lungs were established in long-term culture with the aid of conditioned medium from HTLV-II-transformed T cells (HTLV-II CM). These AIDS-KS cells were similar to the so-called spindle cells in KS lesions and had some of their features. They produced factors that supported their own growth (autocrine) and the growth of other cells (paracrine), including umbilical vein endothelium and fibroblasts. That the AIDS-KS cells also expressed potent angiogenic activity was demonstrated by the chorioallantoic membrane assay and by subcutaneous inoculation of AIDS-KS cells into nude mice, which resulted in the development of angiogenic lesions composed of mouse cells and showing histological features similar to those of human KS lesions. These data suggest that AIDS-associated KS and possibly other types of KS may be initiated by signals that induce the growth of particular cells (spindle cells of lymphatic or vascular origin) and the expression of autocrine and paracrine activities.

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